Vintage Aerial Photo of the South Land Park Hills Tract!

Via Dane Henas, a wonderful aerial view of our neighborhood from 1955! See if you can spot your house :)

Larger version for download here (5.2 file "EichlerAerial300dpi.jpg")

Many thanks to Dane and Jim Saggs for sharing this.

New MCM links

Been a busy week but I've started a collection of MCM links here on the front page left margin -- if you happen to know of a great one feel free to submit here in the comments section!

P.S. the entire documentary, "The American Look" (1958) seen above can be viewed in its eye-popping, glorious splendor here.

Photos of our house from our friend and contractor, John

Lovely snaps at the house recently by our contractor (and now friend), John DiDomenico, who has a great eye and has been doing construction work on the Eichler and our MCM ranch (stay posted for pictures of the ranch remodel which should be completed in the next month or so). I can highly recommend John, who has a keen appreciation for MCM aesthetic. He specializes in custom remodeling, has excellent craftsmanship and pays great attention to detail. You may reach him at (916) 765-2002.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Part I

We currently live up the hill from our Eichler in another mid-century modern home. Every day our kids beg for us to move into the Eichler, which is indeed tempting and will likely happen at some point in the future.

But for now, we live in our 1961 half-Jetsons, half-Flintstones custom ranch designed by Sacramento architects Rickey and Brooks. We have been renovating it since 2000 and are making slow but steady progress.

I entered some pictures of areas we have renovated into Rejuvenation's "Make Your Home Your Own" contest Please cast your vote if you like my entry and thanks for stopping by :)

Update: Congrats to Morgan from The Brick House for winning the contest! Morgan is another MCM fan and featured a post about our found slides at the Eichler. Always nice to see fellow MCM fans!

Blast from the past -- Zombie Hut!

I am transfixed with all things tiki, so of course am very sad I never got to visit the Zombie Hut, which used to be so close to our neighborhood at 5635 Freeport Boulevard (before it was bulldozed and replaced with a strip mall.) I imagine this must have been quite the happenin' exotic spot.

Some great sleuthing has been done by Amadscientist, who has written a Wikipedia entry regarding the Zombie Hut's history and includes images from their business card.

The Zombie Hut lives on as a reincarnation in Brooklyn, NY per several Sacramento Bee articles written by R.E. Graswich:

August 14, 2002: "The Next Big Thing in New York might be straight from Sacramento. We are talking about the Zombie Hut, a long-gone bar on Freeport Boulevard that featured bartenders in Hawaiian shirts, plastic tiki idols, pink umbrella drinks and Ed Leeteg's sexy velvet portraits of Polynesian maidens. This week, amid much fanfare, the Zombie Hut reopens - 3,000 miles away on Smith Street in Brooklyn, N.Y. "I was born and raised in Sacramento and worked as a busboy at the original Zombie Hut," said Tod Bullen. "I decided the time was right to bring it back." Since moving to New York, Tod has become a mini-tycoon in the Brooklyn restaurant scene, having partial ownership in several establishments. The new Zombie Hut, which opens Friday, is in Carroll Gardens, a gentrified Italian neighborhood known for its mob connections (Al Capone was married there). If the Zombie Hut is a hit, it's only a matter of time before some smart operator brings the concept back to Sacramento."

A post on Tiki Central from Psycho Tiki D lists this enchanting painting, "Native Dancer" original oil on silk, by Burke Tyree, 1964, as having been hung on the wall at the Zombie Hut.

A really great and in-depth history, as well as other excellent examples of Burke Tyree's velvet paintings can be seen on Minnie's Restaurant & Bar's website.

Another painter, Ed Leeteg, reportedly had several paintings at the Zombie Hut. Per another Sacramento Bee article from August 25, 1999:

"The former Sacramento sign painter, whose velvet tropical maidens are craved by collectors in Los Angeles and Honolulu, has re-exploded onto the Sacramento scene. Leeteg died in 1953, but a mention of his name right here stirred readers who recalled him hanging around the old Zombie Hut on Freeport. "He had four or five pictures there. He would sell them for a bottle of rum..."

A great article regarding Ed Leeteg is posted on Barracuda Magazine's website.

Mary Z. Johnson was a waitress at many local restaurants including the Zombie Hut. Per her May 7, 2008 obituary in the Sacramento Bee, she had quite a following according to her sister, Josephine Bodda:

"Funny and charming, she loved meeting people from all walks of life. She teased politicians at Dick and Eddie's downtown, joked with fishermen and tourists at the Crow's Nest in Isleton and dished with gay men who gave her pet names and insisted on sitting at her station in the Zombie Hut.

"She had a big gay following," said Bodda, who managed the Polynesian-themed restaurant on Freeport Boulevard. "All her tables would be full, but they would say, 'We'll wait for Mitzie.' Sometimes they would leave her a hundred-dollar tip."
Does anyone have any fun stories, pictures, artifacts or mementos from the original Zombie Hut to share?

Napkin via
Matchbook cover via Psycho Tiki D, Tiki Central Forum post.


One of the things that we absolutely love about our Eichler is that most of the era-specific built-ins (thanks to the original owners) are preserved and in excellent shape.

I'm posting pictures of them here today and would love to hear from anyone about the state of their built-ins if you have them. Are yours similar or different? Do you know any more about them?

I found Waldo!

In my quest for grasscloth to refresh our original closet doors, Waldo Bowers came through with four sample books that they kindly let me take home and study. While I could have purchased grasscloth online, I wanted to see the color and texture firsthand as well as patronize a local retailer. I had tried hunting it down at several local stores here in Sacramento, even a store that specializes in environmentally friendly products. Then I remembered Waldo Bowers, an old-school floor and wall coverings specialty store.

I wound up choosing from Pacific Designs International's Han Ban Do IX book, Pattern HBD 9045. This grasscloth is handcrafted out of tightweave all-natural jute fibers and is environmentally friendly.

The above is the final result of my quest, expertly installed by John DiDomenico (see more regarding John here).

Speaking of which, Waldo Bowers carries several environmentally friendly products that would look great in any Eichler or mid-century modern home: Marmoleum, Ionique, bamboo, cork and natural wood floors. They also have an impressive variety of vinyl composition tile from several manufacturers.

The official store entrance is on the 24th Street side, but in case you get lost, the regulars at The Jointed Cue pool hall next door on the Fruitridge side will set you straight!